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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
Think about the last time that you photographed a group of friends or family. It's inevitable that at least one person in the group didn't look his best in the photo. Someone is always looking the wrong way, or making a face or closing his eyes. Even if you take multiple shots of the same group, it's difficult to get one photo in which everyone in the group looks great. Photoshop Elements offers a possible solution to this problem. It's the Group Shot feature in Guided Edit, which helps you to blend together multiple photos of the same group, to display the best parts of each group photo.
To show you the Group Shot Feature, I'll start here in the Organizer where I'm going to select two versions of a group shot. This photo of Kirk, Nick and Jacob and this second shot of Kirk, Nick and Jacob. I'm going to click on the first photo to select it and then I'll hold the Ctrl key as I click on the second photo to select that one too. Now, I want to bring these photos into the Guided Edit workspace, where the Group Shot feature is located. So I'll go up to the Fix tab in the Task panel in the Organizer, I'll click the arrow there and I'll choose Guided Photo Edit.
That launches the Elements Editor workspace, and opens the two selected files down here in the project bin, in the Guided Edit workspace, which I went over in the last movie. The two open images appear as thumbnails in the project bin here at the bottom of the Guided Edit workspace. If your project bin isn't open, you can open it by double-clicking the Project bin tab right here. I'm going to select both thumbnails in the project bin, clicking on the first thumbnail and then holding the Ctrl key, and clicking on the second thumbnail.
With those two selected I'll go over to the list of tasks that you can perform in Guided Edit and from the Photo Merge category here I'm going to choose Group Shot. If your Photo Merge category is collapsed like this you can open it by clicking arrow to the left of that category, and then click on Group Shot. That opens the Photo Merge group shot interface, with instructions here in Guided Edit as to how exactly to use this feature. You're welcome to read through these instructions on your own time, but basically it tells you to do the following.
I need to choose, which of the two photos I want to use as the final photo and which as the source photo. The one that Elements is going to merge into the final photo. The final photo should be the best of the photos I'm working with. So to choose the final photo I need to see both of them. Right now the first photo is showing here on the left-hand side of this interface in the window labeled Source, so I'll take a look at that and then I'll go down to the Project bin, and I'll click on the other thumbnail to switch those out. So now I'm looking at the second photo in the Source window.
I think the first photo is a better composition over all and so I'm going to go back down to the project bin, click on that first photo and hold my mouse down and I'm going to drag from the project bin up into the final window on the right side of the workspace. So that's a drag-and-drop of the photo that I want to be the final to this window on the right. So I've got photo number one on the right as the final image, and photo number two on the left as the Source image, in the final blended photo I would like Kirk to remain the way he looks here in the Final photo, and I think Nick looks fine in the final photo to, but Jacob is looking out of the picture.
So would like to replace the image of Jacob that's currently in the Final photo, with the straight ahead shot of Jacob that's here in the source photo. To do that I'll go over to the Photo Merge instructions on the right, and I'll make sure that the Pencil tool is selected. I'll also leave Show Strokes checked, so that I can see where I'm drawing with the Pencil tool. And then I'll move over to the source image, where the good photo of Jacob is located, and I'm just going to move my mouse down the entire length of Jacob in this photo.
And then I'll wait for just a second, while the program automatically takes the image of Jacob from the source photo that I just drew on with the Pencil tool and uses that to replace the image of Jacob over here on the right in the final. So this final image is now a blend of some content from photo 1 and other content from photo 2. It's almost like magic. But I have to admit that this doesn't always work as perfectly with other images as it did in this particular example. Particularly if the content of the photos is difficult for Elements to align.
If you have difficulty with your own photos, in the Group Shot Feature, you can go over to the Guided Edit instructions on the right, and go down to the Advanced Options section click the arrow there, and then scroll down. And you'll find some instructions about how to use Alignment Tool Markers to better align the photos you are using, so that they're easier for Elements to blend together. But in this case I really like the result that I got as my final. So, at this point I'm going to click Done at the bottom of the Guided Edit Instructions.
And I can see the final blended photo here in the After View of the Guided Edit workspace. In order to save this image, I need to go up to the File menu and I'll choose Save As. I'm just going to leave everything at it's defaults here in the Save As dialog box, and I'm going to click Save, and then I can close the image by clicking the Close button here in Guided Edit. I also need to close the original two images. So I'm going to close that one and close that one. And that automatically takes me out of Guided Edit and back into the Organizer.
So, I think the Group Shots Feature is really clever, and it can be quite useful when you have to take a shot of a group. What you have to do in advance though is remembered to take more than one photo so you have the opportunity to take the best out of each photo when you are processing your images in the Group Shot feature in the Guided Edit workspace inside Elements editor.
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